Physical activity levels among rural adolescents with a history of ankle sprain and chronic ankle instability

Brittany Holland, Alan R. Needle, Rebecca A. Battista, Stephanie T. West, Richard W. Christiana

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10 Scopus citations


Ankle sprains and their common sequalae are thought to negatively affect physical activity levels and health-related quality of life among active populations, but limited evidence has described this among younger populations. This study aimed to determine the prevalence rate of ankle sprain and chronic ankle instability among rural adolescents and subsequently compare their physical activity levels based on ankle injury status. The study was conducted in a rural high school in North Carolina. High school students completed an online survey that assessed ankle injury history, perception of ankle instability and function, and physical activity. Respondents were categorized into one of four groups based on ankle injury history and complaints of instability: 1) uninjured (no history of injury); 2) unstable (history of injury >1 year and recurrent instability); 3) copers (history of injury >1 year and no recurrent instability); and 4) potentially unstable (injury within the past year). Frequency of physical activity was compared across groups using analysis of variance, Kruskall-Wallis test (α = 0.05), and responses to activity type were assessed using chi-square. Physical activity was found to differ significantly between the four groups ðw2 4 ¼ 11:65; p < 0:01; Z2 p ¼ :07Þ with unstable respondents reporting more physical activity than uninjured respondents (unstable = 4706.05 ± 4610.56 MET-minutes/week; uninjured = 2592.93 ± 2946.02 MET-minutes/ week). No differences were found between other groups. Despite injury history and sensations of instability, respondents with chronic ankle instability reported greater physical activity levels than uninjured participants. As this is contrary to pre-existing hypotheses, it is possible that continued physical activity after injury among adolescents may contribute to deleterious outcomes such as increased frequency of chronic instability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0216243
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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